Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Welcome Back

Well... offically Bluffton started classes last Monday, but I am one of the lucky ones who will get to talk to all of you this semester about something very cool! I am doing one of the Study Abroad programs with Bluffton and I am lucky to be in Londonderry (Derry) Northern Ireland. Yes, that is right, I am in Northern Ireland as I am typing this. I started my classes this past Monday, September 1st. This opportunity is open to everyone on campus. You travel to Ireland at the beginning of the semester and are placed in host families around the city of Derry. There you are given an allowance and are set free in this city. We have classes once a day, Monday thru Friday and then have our own time to enjoy the culture of this magical place. Enough about all of that.. if you are interested in seeing more about this, check out the website that Bluffton provides for it.
Last week we (16students) arrived in a foreign counrty with American currency still in our pockets and suitcases packed with 2weeks worth of clothing. This was going to be an adventure of a lifetime. As a member of this program, I was terrified. Part of me still is, but that is the whole point of leaving home. We meet Mervyn Love, the director of this program and set off on a new journey. There were things to do, people to meet and places to go, as well as catching up with the Jet Lag that we are trying to sleep for. The first week we spent at a place called Corrymeela. This is an amazing place that is a Christian Reconciliation center within Northern Ireland. This is where our orientation began. It was a time that allowed for us to become familiar with the accent, routine and become familiar with each other.
After a few days of sightseeing we all pack up and travel to Londonderry (Derry). This is where we are broken up into groups of 2 or 3 and live with a host family for the rest of the program time. We are split up around this city. It is most definately an adventure.

So this semester you as a reader will get to experience this adventure with me. I will add some pictures from the first week at Corrymeela.

Here's to the first week of classes in Northern Ireland! :)
Peace and Blessings,

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